National ATM Council Celebrates Milestone as US ATMs Turn 50 in 2019
Newspaper ads from Chemical read, "On Sept. 2, our bank will open at 9:00 AM and never close again!"
Largely viewed as a novelty at the time, few anticipated America's financial services industry was entering an era in which round-the-clock access to cash would become the norm. Despite some initial technical challenges and weather-related issues, the ATM quickly caught on among local consumers.
"Maybe it was a sign of the times. The moon landing was just six weeks before the first ATM appeared on the scene, and people were prepared for technological miracles," said George Sarantopoulos, NAC Board Chair and CEO of Access One Solutions, a leading New York-based provider of ATM services and equipment. "Americans love their cash and quickly embraced the idea of the ATM when it was first introduced."
As Sarantopoulos noted, bank-owned ATMs quickly grew to more than 100,000 by 1996. Since that year, when payment network rules were revised, and entrepreneurs first entered the US market, the number of ATMs has more than quadrupled.
ATMs have come to play a significant role in the nation's economic system, with the US enjoying the highest per capita deployment of these terminals in the world. Consisting largely of small to mid-sized businesses, independent ATM operators now account for almost 60% of the approximately 470,000 ATMs currently deployed across the nation. These ATMs provide the ready access to cash that helps keep the wheels of the US economy turning smoothly each and every day.
Independent ATMs also serve as an essential financial safety net for millions of America's unbanked and under-banked citizens. Providing widespread access to cash via prepaid debit cards and government issued electronic benefit transfer (EBT) payment cards, independent ATM entrepreneurs have developed cost-effective ways to serve residents of what would otherwise be banking deserts in inner city and small rural communities throughout the US.
"As America's independent ATM trade association, NAC is planning a special educational outreach during 2019 designed to highlight both this 50-year milestone and the importance of ATMs to US consumers, policymakers, merchants, and related industries,"
NAC will be highlighting ATM news and milestones throughout this year-long 50th anniversary celebration, culminating with special events and speakers at the "NAC2019 Conference & Expo," scheduled for October 15th-17th at Planet Hollywood - Las Vegas. Early bird registration for this special industry gathering will be open soon.
For additional information on the National ATM Council, Inc. and ongoing updates on the 50th anniversary celebration, visit the NAC website at: https://www.natmc.org.
Page Updated Last on: Jan 29, 2019